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The tide is high

17 January 2017

Tidal lagoon technology is making waves after a recent Government report highlights its benefits as a predictable source of energy.

The study was commissioned by the Government, and carried out by the former Energy Minister Charles Hendry.

He said tidal lagoon technology can deliver a secure supply of energy for a price that’s competitive in the long term – the equivalent of the cost of a pint of milk per household per year. He added that tidal power is a completely predictable source of energy.

The review is significant for Tidal Lagoon Power. The company secured planning consent in 2015 to build the world’s first tidal lagoon power plant in Swansea Bay. This 320MW project will generate enough power to meet the annual needs of 155,000 homes.

The company aims to begin construction within a year of getting a final green light after the successful conclusion of negotiations with Government. It is the first project of its kind in the world, marking the start of a whole new industrial sector. We can expect to see significant cost reductions as each further project is built.

RenewableUK’s Chief Executive Hugh McNeal said “it’s great to have this ringing endorsement of innovative technology and modern industry. The world’s first tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay can provide power for our national energy needs and create local jobs for decades to come. Government should finalise negotiations so that work can start on this important infrastructure project as soon as possible.”

“This is a new growth sector with huge potential to bring industrial-scale economic opportunities to the UK. Each new tidal lagoon will drive down costs due to economies of scale, benefitting consumers, as well as strengthening the security of our energy supply.”

“The UK’s future energy mix will be powered by a broad range of low carbon technologies which can be delivered by British companies. This means investing today in new sources for tomorrow – including marine energy technologies such as wave, tidal stream, and tidal lagoons”.

Mr Hendry takes up this theme in his report by making clear his support for other marine energy technologies such as wave and tidal stream, stating: 

“Marine energy technologies offer an energy opportunity where the UK can reasonably aspire to be the global leader, with some substantial supply chain opportunities to match it.”

“I would urge the Government to look at these opportunities not just in tidal lagoons but for marine renewable energy more generally. Whilst wave technologies are further behind tidal technologies, the UK should be promoted as a centre of global excellence and opportunity for the development of all marine energy technologies”.

Tidal Lagoon Power thanks Mr Hendry and his team for their positive endeavours throughout the process. The company states:

“With the publication of the Hendry Review we’ve hit ‘peak consensus.’

“Home-grown power from the tides, starting at Swansea Bay, is something we can all agree on: communities and investors, conservationists and industrialists, politicians of all persuasions and now an independent government review, all singing from the same hymn sheet.

“Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon is a vision of how Great Britain can replace part of our ageing power station fleet with low cost, reliable power that also revitalises our industrial heartlands and coastal communities.

“When we pay our electricity bills, we are mostly supporting other countries’ energy industries and other countries’ workers. It doesn’t have to be that way. Tidal lagoons will generate electrons that work for Britain and bring down bills.

“The Hendry Review has set the final piece of the jigsaw in place: a watershed moment for British energy, British manufacturing, British productivity and our coastal communities. We look forward to working with Ministers and Officials to bring this new industry to life.”

Video depicts Tidal Lagoon Power’s vision for the world’s first tidal lagoon (Courtesy of CeasefireIndusLtd).

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